By Danielle Eden C. Silva
In Department 11, the preliminary hearing for Victor Christian Quezada began and ended.
Mr. Quezada is accused of two counts, the first count of corporal injury and the second of child endangerment. Originally these counts were felonies, which changed by the end of the hearing.
The hearing began with the alleged victim’s testimony.
After swearing in, she recounted the events of her stay in Woodland on November 22, 2017. The victim shared that she had been living with her then-boyfriend, Mr. Quezada, in Winters. They had been together for a year and have a child together. At the time, the child was six weeks old and they were living together.
The victim had just finished feeding the baby when she began to engage in a verbal altercation with the defendant. The defendant appeared to be intoxicated and, after some time of yelling, he attacked her, the victim testified. Mr. Quezada was described to have slapped her cheeks three times in total and having scraped her neck after reaching toward it open handed. The slaps left red marks
but did not throw her off balance, according to her.
During the slaps, the victim had had the baby in her arms and put the child on the bed before her neck was affected. She shared that she warned the defendant that the baby would get hurt and the defendant had stated he didn’t care.
Following this, she had taken away the truck keys and Mr. Quezada left the house.
During the altercation, her two other children were there, a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old. Mr. Quezada had left after one of the children walked in.
The neighbors called the police following the event. The victim spoke with the police on that day but she did note Mr. Quezada had physically harmed her before, in July of 2017. She had been on the street in Vacaville with the defendant when he pulled her hair in the direction of their car. Witnesses on the street who saw it called the police. The victim did note that the pull affected her balance but she did not have any hair pulled out.
A brief interjection in the examination came from Judge Timothy L. Fall to correct the charge dates of the counts. Both counts were charged on November 22, 2017.
During cross-examination by the defense, the victim revealed the date was close to Thanksgiving. She also was aware that the defendant’s father had recently died. Their argument began from arguing where to spend Thanksgiving and escalated from there. She shared she was upset at him for drinking again and so had taken the keys away. The defendant had noted he wanted to go to the store but the victim did not want him driving there in her car. The victim also testified she raised her voice first, and then he did so as well. Additionally, Mr. Quezada was not prosecuted on the prior physical altercation in July of 2017.
After the altercation, the victim and the baby did not need medical attention. The baby had not been hit. During redirect by the prosecution, the baby was revealed not to have woken up or cried. The witness was excused.
The next witness was Victor Barajas, the Winters police officer who had answered the dispatch call from neighbors and had been aware of the nature of the call.
When he arrived at the scene on November 22, 2017, he made contact with the neighbor before going to speak with the victim. He noted he didn’t see the suspect at the house but did receive a statement which did not contrast to the testimony the victim gave in court.
The victim, Officer Barajas recalled, had swollen red cheeks which he took photos of. He also mentioned she appeared very scared.
Officer Barajas would not meet the defendant until later at the Woodland Police Station where Mr. Quezada had turned himself. He asked the officer to charge him instead with a DUI. The defendant had not given a statement, invoking his Miranda rights.
In cross-examination by the defense, the officer stated that Mr. Quezada did smell of alcohol. Officer Barajas also shared that none of the neighbors had reported seeing what had happened. Additionally, the baby was noted as not being injured.
After Officer Barajas was excused, the prosecution rested. They reserved their counts. The defense requested that the charges be reduced to misdemeanors as the child was not hurt and the mother did not lose balance or fall.
The prosecution argued there had been injury and a physical altercation. The six-week-old baby, the prosecution stated, was highly reliant on their mother and could have been injured.
Judge Fall noted that child endangerment can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony and, in this case, the court ruled on the side of the misdemeanor. Both charges would be brought down to misdemeanors as the mother was only hit with slaps, not attacked with a weapon.
The trial setting conference is scheduled to occur on April 4 at 8:30 am in Department 14.